Sunday, September 30, 2012

Go and Tell - Matthew 28:18-20

Sue Tornai and her dog, Maggie, with Chicken Soup's Finding
My Faith Book, September 30, 2012
Jesus said, "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,"
Matthew 28:18-20 (in Context) Matthew 28.

I don't know about you, but I take Jesus' words very seriously. That is why I teach Sunday school and write stories about God's love. My story, "The Promise," is one of 101 heart-moving, life-changing stories in Chicken Soup's Finding My Faith book. and last week my honorarium books arrived! Those are books the publisher gives the authors.

If you would like your copy of Chicken Soup's Finding My Faith book, it will be released October 16, 2012 in paperback and Kindle formats.

Think About It
How do you tell people about God's love? I would like to know your story. Please leave it in a comments box and email me your contact information at I would like your permission to put it on my blog. Tell me how it makes you feel when God uses you. It is an awesome feeling for me.

Pray About It
Lord Jesus, I pray that this book will touch hearts and lives for You. May Your Holy Spirit use the inspirational stories about life, belief and spiritual renewal to demonstrate your amazing love. Amen.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

How Many Times Should I Forgive?

Has one of your friends or someone in your family done something that hurt you? Really hurt you? Does it seem like it's impossible to look at that person or talk to him? Do think you could be friends again? Do you know what to do? Peter asked Jesus this question. Check this out from Matthew 18:21:

Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?”

Jesus answered, I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times."

Do you think Peter counted all the times someone did him wrong so he could find justification at seventy-seven times? I don't think so. I think forgiveness became a lifestyle and it must be our lifestyle too. Jesus died so we could be forgiven. If you have known forgiveness, you will want others to know it too.

We can say out loud that we forgive, but what is happening in our hearts? Here are seven ways to forgive from your heart:
  1. Choose not to tell anyone how your friend hurt you. This is hard. Can you trust one person who will encourage you whom you know will not tell anyone? Ask God to help you.
  2. Be pleasant around the person who hurt you.
  3. If you talk to the person, do all you can to free him from guilt. Jesus said in Luke 6:31, "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
  4. Do not remind them how much they hurt you. Once you have forgiven, you must behave as though you don't think your friend did anything wrong.
  5. Encourage your friend by showing compassion.
  6. Some days might be easier than other days to forgive. Keep forgiving. It's not easy, but God is with you to help you.
  7. Pray for the one who hurt you. Jesus said, "Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you," Matthew 5:44. This doesn't mean, "Oh God, please deal with my friend and the pain he caused me." It means, "I pray for my friend, that You would give him peace, that he would know Your forgiveness and love."
"Forgiveness" is not a popular word in the world today. It wasn't popular when Jesus walked this earth either. That's why He came--to show us how to live, love and forgive. Without God's love, "forgiveness" is just another word.

Think About It
When we truly forgive those who hurt us, we act as Jesus would. That's how people will desire to know and love Him. Is there someone you need to forgive? Choose today to take these steps to show them Jesus' love.

Pray About It
Lord Jesus, I am sorry for my thoughts about my friend. I choose today to forgive, and I need your help to make it real and lasting. Amen.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Show Respect-Matthew 8:5-13

A Roman centurion went to the town of Capernaum and pleaded with Jesus to heal his servant who lay at home sick and in terrible agony. When Jesus got ready to go, the centurion said, "Oh Jesus, no! I'm not worthy to have You come under my roof. Just say the word and my servant will be well. I know, for I am a man of authority over soldiers. I say to this one come, and he comes, and to another go and he goes. And to my slave I say do this and he does."

When Jesus heard this, he was amazed and said to those following him, Truly I tell you, I have not found anyone in Israel with such great faith. 11 I say to you that many will come from the east and the west, and will take their places at the feast with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. 12 But the subjects of the kingdom will be thrown outside, into the darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
13 Then Jesus said to the centurion, Go! Let it be done just as you believed it would.” And his servant was healed at that moment (Matthew 8:10-13).

Think About It
The centurion showed respect for Jesus when he humbled himself before Him saying he wasn't worthy to have Him come to his house and when He trusted Jesus by asking Him to heal his servant. Write down three ways you can show respect to Jesus; to your parents and teachers. Then practice them this week.

Pray About It
Lord Jesus, I love and worship you. Help me to show You, my parents and teachers respect. Thank you for Your faithfulness of being with me. Amen